Georgia coach Mark Richt hinted that he’d been hearing some good things about at least one of the young wide receivers from some of the veteran players but was hesitant to go into much detail. The coaches, after all, aren’t able to spend any time coaching or watching summer workouts and, in fact, aren’t even allowed to get reports from the strength and conditioning coaches.
But it didn’t take very long for quarterback Aaron Murray to reveal which player was creating all the buzz. That player is Valdosta High graduate Malcolm Mitchell, who actually was recruited to Georgia as a cornerback.
I’ll just let Murray do the talking:
“I haven’t seen speed and quickness like that for a while,” he said. “The other day he ran a post pattern and split our starting safety and one of our starting corners. Shawn Williams came up to me afterward and he’s like, ‘Aaron, I’ve never seen somebody with that kind of speed before.’ You ask any of the DBs, Boykin or any of those guys, Malcolm has unbelievable speed, unbelievable quickness.
“The thing I like about him most is he works harder than anyone. I would say he knows already 70 to 80 percent of the playbook. He’s been studying every day. Every day after pass drills he’ll get with me and we’ll work on routes a half-hour or 45 minutes. That’s every day. Three times a week he’ll call me and say, ‘let’s go work on routes; let’s go do this and that.’”
Murray was asked if he thought Mitchell could be a factor on offense early in the season.
“He’s ready to go. He knows the playbook, he knows the routes. I’m sure Coach [Tony] Ball will tweak a few things here and there by the time we go to camp. But, for the most part, we’re pretty excited about his knowledge of the game and what he’s going to be able to do.”
If Murray’s assessment is true, that’s very good news for the Bulldogs. Georgia lost its top two receivers to NFL draft in No. 4 pick A.J. Green and third-rounder Kris Durham. Together they accounted for 1,507 yards and 12 receiving touchdowns.
The Bulldogs have a solid top two to start the season in Tavarres King and Marlon Brown. But they’ve been looking for another “defense stretcher” that can be a legitimate vertical threat.
Sounds like they may have identified one.
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